Political divisions in America are partly to blame for pushing the death toll from COVID-19 to over 500,000, Dr Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.
Fauci, speaking on CNN, declined to specifically call former President Donald Trump, but said months spent downplaying the severity of the pandemic by political leaders have discouraged mitigation efforts such as port masks and social distancing promoted by public health experts.
“You’re trying to signal to the country that it really needs to get down to it and address the kinds of mitigation strategies that we are proposing,” said Fauci, one of President Joe Biden’s senior health advisers. “And there are signals coming in saying ‘it’s not that bad, we’re in pretty good shape …’ that wasn’t helpful.”
Fauci said it was painful to hear people calling the pandemic “fake news” as hospitals were overrun with patients infected with the virus
“I mean, how could you say when the people of your own state, your own town, your own county die?” Said Fauci.
Fauci made his comments hours after President Joe Biden recalled the 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 in a ceremony Monday night outside the White House.
“As a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate,” Biden said. “While we have been fighting this pandemic for so long, we must resist becoming numb with pain. ”
Also in the news:
►The House this week is focusing on President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Democrats in Congress aim to pass the entire proposal by mid-March. It currently includes a new round of checks for Americans, a renewed paycheck protection program and an extension of a federal boost for unemployment benefits.
►States will have to administer annual standardized exams to students in 2021, but they can change or delay testing, the U.S. Department of Education said on Monday.
►Amid the nationwide debate over whether to reopen schools during the pandemic, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests teachers may be more likely to transmit the virus than students.
►California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to sign a state-sized coronavirus relief program on Tuesday that will include $ 600 in one-time payments for 5.7 million low-to-moderate income people. The bill was approved by state lawmakers on Monday.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 28.1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 500,200 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 111.7 million cases and 2.47 million deaths. More than 75.2 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and about 64.1 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: Language and cultural barriers made it difficult for many people of color, immigrants, and non-English speaking communities.to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s how we break them down.
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Community health centers rely on vaccination of low-income patients
The Biden administration is targeting community health centers, which serve about 30 million patients nationwide, as vaccine distribution centers. Two-thirds of these patients live in poverty or below, half are from racial or ethnic minorities, and most are uninsured or on Medicaid. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, chair of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, announced earlier this month that the administration would begin shipping doses to 250 centers, at least one in each state or territory. At the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, COO Janice Robinson said more than 3,000 patients are on waiting lists for an injection at the network’s 17 community health centers,
“We don’t have enough,” Robinson said. “It will definitely make a change.”
– Nada Hassanein
Woman dies after contracting virus from lung donor
A woman who died after undergoing a double lung transplant at the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor is the first known person to contract COVID-19 from a donor lung, according to a new case report published in the American Journal of Transplantation. The case is rare and represents “the worst possible scenario” to play in a pandemic that has killed half a million Americans, said Bruce Nicely, clinical director of Gift of Life Michigan, the organ recovery and recovery program. fabrics designated by the federal government. . Nicely noted, however, that Gift of Life Michigan was not involved in this donation. The transplant took place at the end of October.
“To my knowledge, this is the first, and indeed the only, documented transmission of COVID-19 to a recipient” from donated organs, Nicely said.
– Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press
Biden insists on social distancing and wearing a mask in White House ceremony
Biden urged Americans to wear masks and take other steps to prevent the spread of the virus during the grim White House ceremony in honor of the 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19. Biden pointed out that the death toll from the pandemic exceeded the number of U.S. servicemen killed in action in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined.
“The people we lost were amazing. They have spanned generations,” Biden said of the virus victims. “Born in America, immigrated to America. Just like that, many of them took their last breaths on their own in America.”
The United States, with about 4% of the world’s population, has recorded 25% of COVID-19 cases and 20% of deaths. Experts warn that around 90,000 more deaths are likely in the coming months, despite the country’s mass vaccination campaign. The White House pandemic team said over the weekend that despite the sharp drop in cases this month, infection levels remain above last summer’s peak and life will not return to the normal before a certain time.
Johnson & Johnson plans to deliver 20 million doses of vaccine by end of March
Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson says it will be able to deliver 20 million U.S. doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March, assuming it gets the green light from federal regulators. J&J revealed the figure in written testimony ahead of a Congressional hearing Tuesday on the country’s vaccine supply. White House officials warned last week that initial supplies of the J&J vaccine would be limited.
The company has reaffirmed that it will have the capacity to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine to the United States by the end of June. This supply will help government officials meet the goal of having enough injections to immunize most adult Americans later this year. Globally, the company aims to produce 1 billion doses this year.
U.S. health regulators are still reviewing the safety and effectiveness of the shot, and a decision to allow its emergency use is expected later this week. J & J’s vaccine would be the first in the United States to require only one vaccine.
Why get the COVID vaccine if you always have to wear a mask? Immediate benefits, say experts
Get a COVID-19 vaccine and you will be advised to continue to wear a mask and stay away from other people. So, what is it for? There is an immediate benefit to the person who receives a vaccine, said Andy Slavitt, senior White House adviser on the response to COVID-19. “People are interested in taking the vaccine,” he told a press conference on Monday, because “they don’t want to be sick and they don’t want to die”.
Getting two injections of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces an individual’s risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by about 95%, according to large research trials.
But life won’t return to something normal for society at large until national infection rates drop further, according to Dr Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
– Karen Weintraub
Contribute: The Associated Press